So, when the Tone Factory redaction asked me to do a feature-length piece on Lovian techno, I grabbed my chance to give readers an insight in the Lovian techno scene. My name is Marten Jung, but I am better known as the male half of Hyperkids Melody, my own chiptune/indietronica project focusing on weird atari noises and general uneasiness. Like most other artists in the EDM circuit, I release music under a multitude of monikers. However, I have stuck to the name Hyperkids Melody for a few years now, and established quite a solid fan base. That's usually not the case with techno: the anonimity of the genre, and the -at first glance- similarity between artists and tracks makes it one of the harder genres to properly get into. Artists frequently change names, or release only one single per alias. The sheer amount of variation between the artists is usually not recognized by the wider public. To make a long story short, techno has everything against it when commercial success is concerned. Why, however, is the genre so vibrant and widespread after all those years?
For answers, we have to go to Noble City, home to Club Zappa and Mothership, the two biggest clubs of our capital (or Lovia, for that matter). Compared to European and mainland North American clubs, these venues are relatively small, but they still serve their purpose. They were founded in the early 1990s, when house was booming business in the States, and Chicago and Detroit were literally overflowing with electronic music. These clubs were started by young individuals, who had come in contact with new types of music and wanted to explore new territories, beyond the known lands of disco and funk. They were the starting point of what became known as the Lovian techno hype. A relatively small country when it comes to population figures, Lovia has had a lively and multi-faceted musical community for decades. It is somewhat comparable to Iceland: a small population, but lots and lots of succesful musicians active in the popular music circuit. Therefore, it isn't surprising that, when two clubs were set up right after each other, and became established trademarks in the clubbing circuit, that resident DJs and other people in the social circles around these venues started to produce their own music. Initially uninspired and simple, these early DJs started to make name over time. Techno and house from Lovian soil was becoming a thing. Demand for "domestical" EDM was high, as there used to be a close connection between the ravers and the DJs: they often shared beds, drugs and their taste in music. Over time, a genre was born: Lovian techno.
Nowadays, around hundred people in Lovia commercially release dance music, of which around half are involved with the techno scene. New and old names can be found next to each other in the crates of stores like Warped Vinyl. Artists like Tapedeck Destroyer and Teknik Bass explore the more artsy, concept side of techno, while artists like Justin Dix and Noisewave chose to pursue commercial success and went on to score chart hit after chart hit. Techno is not dead, it is alive in Lovia!. The recent 2013 edition of the Noble City Rock Festival, where lots of techno artists performed, is an anecdotal, but very relevant proof of this. (Marten Jung)